To Freeze or Not to Freeze? That is the question...
Preserving your food by freezing it is all about sustainability and reducing food waste. It is also the best way to keep your pantry well stocked.
AVOID FOOD WASTE AND KEEP PLENTY OF FOOD FOR LATER
This technique is one of the best ways to avoid food waste and keep plenty of food on hand for a reasonably long period of time. You can freeze almost (note: almost) everything: from produce to cooked foods. We Italians also love to freeze pesto in cubes or even sliced bread. However, you should be really careful. Here is our guide to freezing your food and keeping it fresh and fragrant.
TEMPERATURE, CONTAINERS, SIZE AND TIMING
Check the temperature, it should be at zero degrees Fahrenheit or colder. The temperature is essential to retain your food’s texture, freshness, nutrients, color and flavor, but also if you want to avoid bacteria or other negative recourse: you want to avoid a case of food poisoning! Be careful when you choose the container. Avoid glass containers because they can easily crack. The best options are plastic bags and containers specifically designed for your freezer. Another great idea is to freeze small, individual portions. A good tip when freezing meat and seafood is to tightly cover them with a plastic wrap as soon as you get it from the grocery store. Do not wait a couple of days, that is a very dangerous hazard.
PRODUCE, YOUR FREEZER’S BEST FRIEND
You can also freeze broth and stews. Avoid freezing products like mayonnaise or eggs, as well as pasta and rice, which are not freezer-friendly. Be sure to clean (or peel) and dice your vegetables and fruits, before you store them. Avoid, however, leafy vegetables and tomatoes. Do not forget herbs, they are perfect just as they are! Here is a great technique to freeze some flavorful herbs. Dice and chop them and fill an ice cube molder with your herbs and some extra virgin olive oil. You can use them later for your pastas, meats or soups. An ice cube tray is also perfect to freeze olive oil. You can use your frozen olive oil to cream your risotto, instead of using butter! We tried with organic EVOO Peranzana Agricola Piano and we loved it. The result is excellent!
- Donatella Mulvoni